Aya Medany (Arabic: آیة مدني; born November 20, 1988) is an Egyptian modern pentathlete. She made her Olympic début at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, as the youngest competitor both in the Egyptian team and competing in the pentathlon.

Aya Medany
Personal information
Full nameAya Mahmoud Medany
Born (1988-11-20) 20 November 1988 (age 34)
Cairo, Egypt
Height1.71 m (5 ft 7+12 in)
Weight64 kg (141 lb)
Country Egypt
SportModern Pentathlon
Turned pro2004
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals2004 Athens – 28th
2008 Beijing – 8th
2012 London – 16th
Medal record
Women's modern pentathlon
Representing  Egypt
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 2008 Budapest Individual
African Championships
Gold medal – first place 2004 Cairo Individual
Gold medal – first place 2006 Cairo Individual
Gold medal – first place 2007 Cairo Individual
Gold medal – first place 2011 Alexandria Individual
Silver medal – second place 2005 Cairo Individual


Medany made her Olympic debut at the 2004 Summer Olympics at the age of 15. She was the youngest on the Egyptian team and the youngest out of any of the athletes competing in the pentathlon. She finished in 28th place overall.[1]

She won the Olympic test event in Beijing, China, meaning that she qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics.[2] She went into the Olympics competing once more for Egypt after conducting pre-games training in South Korea.[1][3] The pentathlon event was due to take place on the final day of the Games, and as Egypt had only won a single bronze medal up until that point, she was highlighted as a potential medal winner towards the end of the Games despite having only placed in the top three of junior competitions prior to that point. However, on the day, Medany found the horse she was randomly assigned for the riding part of the pentathlon was unwieldy, resulting her in finishing in eighth place overall. She later said of the media response, "They put everything on the riding being bad, and me needing an improvement in riding. It wasn't really my fault."[1]

She won the World Cup event held in Százhalombatta, Budapest in 2011, ahead of the Olympic champion Lena Schoneborn and British athlete Mhairi Spence who finished in third place.[citation needed] She competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London following her qualification at the 2011 African Championships in Alexandria where she won the women's individual title.[1][4][5][6]

In March 2013 she announced retirement.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Medany began wearing a hijab after the 2008 Summer Olympics, despite the fact she says it gives her a disadvantage whilst running. She is considering retirement from the sport following the 2012 Summer Olympics due to the ban on full-body swimsuits imposed by the swimming federation FINA, which pentathlon takes its swimming rules from. Medany wants to swim in an outfit conforming to the Muslim faith, while the swimming requirements state that outfits "shall not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor extend below the knee".[1]

Her father Mahmoud Medany was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 alongside Al Gore.[1][8] She works as a teacher assisting at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport. Her family refused to allow her to attend the rallies in Tahrir Square during the 2011 Egyptian revolution.[1]

Career highlightsEdit


2nd Youth World Championship, Budapest, Hungary


1st Youth World Championship, Leon Gu, Mexico


1st Youth World Championship, Albena, Bulgaria
28th Olympic Games, Athens, Greece


2nd Junior World Championship, Moscow, Russia
2nd Youth World Championship, Pilsen, Czech Republic


1st World Cup #2, Milfield, United Kingdom
1st Junior World Championship, Shanghai, China
1st Youth World Championship, Popoli-Sulmona, Italy
1st World Cup #5, Cairo, Egypt
3rd USA Open Championships, Colorado, USA


1st African Championship, Cairo, Egypt
3rd World Cup #2, Cairo, Egypt
1st World Cup Final, Beijing, China


2nd World Cup #3, Millfield, United Kingdom
1st World Cup #5, Kladno, Czech Republic
2nd Senior World Championship, Budapest, Hungary
1st Junior World Championships, Cairo, Egypt
7th Olympic Games, Beijing, China


1st World Cup #1 Mexico City, Mexico
2nd World Cup #2, Cairo, Egypt
1st World Cup #4, Rome, Italy
1st Junior World Championships (individual), Kaoshiung, Chinese Taipei
2nd Junior World Championships (Team relay), Kaoshiung, Chinese Taipei


3rd World Cup #2, Cairo, Egypt


1st World Cup #3, Budapest, Hungary



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Williams, Ollie (31 May 2012). "London 2012: Aya Medany struggles with sport & religion". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Solid display by Spence in China". BBC Sport. 16 September 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Aya Medany hopes to win modern pentathlon in Beijing". China.org.cn. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  4. ^ "London 2012 Olympic Pentathletes Announced". Pentathlon.org. 1 June 2012. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Egypt's Aya Medany wins gold in African pentathlon meet". English.news.cn. 24 July 2011. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Aya Medany Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2020-04-17. Retrieved 2017-10-04.
  7. ^ Mosselhi, Mohammad (14 March 2013). "Pentathlon: Aya Medany announces retirement". ahram.org.eg. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Athlete Profile: Aya Medany". Pentathlon.org. Archived from the original on 4 June 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012.

External linksEdit